A 33-year-old Texas woman drove alone for four hours overnight to go to a Louisiana abortion clinic for consultation. She initially planned to sleep in the car, but advocacy groups helped arrange the hotel room.
She is single and has three children between the ages of five and thirteen, and she was worried that adding a baby now would cost her three children time, food, money and space.
She said she had no work and would probably have been looking for another way to end her pregnancy without the help of a group that provided a safe abortion.
“If you can’t get rid of the baby, what do you do next? You try to get rid of it yourself. So I’m thinking:’What can I do? Get rid of this baby or have an abortion. What home remedies I can do to get rid of or have an abortion? ”And it shouldn’t be like that. I shouldn’t have to do that. I don’t have to think that way, I feel that way, none of them.
“We have to ask. This needs to be changed. It’s not right,” she said.
She was one of more than 12 women arriving on Saturday at the Hope Medical Group for Women, a one-story brick building with covered windows just south of downtown Shreveport.
Some came alone, others with friends and partners. Some people brought their children because they couldn’t raise their children.
Everyone is trying to end their pregnancy, most of them from neighboring Texas, which has the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States.
When fetal heart activity is detected, abortion is banned about 6 weeks later, before many women know they are pregnant. Rape and incest are no exception. As a result, abortion clinics in the surrounding states are flooded with Texas women.
The women agreed to speak to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity in order to speak more openly.
Like many others, a 33-year-old Texas mother said she tried to plan an abortion near her home, but it was too far away.
By the time she arrived at the clinic for an abortion on Saturday, she had just passed nine weeks and had to undergo a surgical abortion instead of using medication. She said the test was angry with Texas politicians who passed the law.
“If I had to keep this baby, it’s not that I don’t know what happened. I was probably crazy, and they don’t understand it,” she said. , Her voice was full of emotions.
A 25-year-old woman traveled 70 miles south of Texarkana on the Texas-Arkansas border. She said she knew that five weeks had already passed before she realized she was pregnant and that it was impossible to schedule the two visits she needed at a Texas clinic.
By the time she was able to make an appointment in Shreveport, her pregnancy had hardly progressed to a drug abortion.
“Fortunately, I knew when I had surgery because I was still able to take the pill instead of surgery,” she said.
While she was in the clinic, her husband waited for hours in the car with her little son, who was a toddler and still breastfeeding. They had no one else to see him.
Texas law has been going back and forth between courts for weeks. The Biden administration again requested the court to suspend it on Monday.
That effort was followed by a ferocious lower court ruling that created a short 48-hour window in which Texas abortion donors were in a hurry to bring patients back last week, and the Federal Court of Appeals reinstated the law3. I came a day later.
The law-fueled anti-abortion campaign aims to reach the US Supreme Court. Abortion opponents want a conservative coalition formed under Donald Trump to end the constitutional right to abortion established by the groundbreaking Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. ..
When most women entered the clinic parking lot, they met protesters against abortion.
John Powers, 44, a machinist in Jacksonville, Texas, said he would attend twice a month to help women change their minds.
The story of many patients is a nuisance to the clinic administrator, Kathaleen Pittman. She recently said she had spoken to a Texas mother attempting an abortion for her 13-year-old daughter who had been sexually assaulted.
“She is a child,” Pittman said. “She doesn’t have to go out for hours to get here. It’s absolutely painful.”
Before Texas law came into force, about 20% of clients were from Texas, Pittman said. Today, that number is approaching 60%, with women hundreds of miles away from Austin, Houston, or San Antonio.
An estimated 1,000 women seek abortion each week in Texas, reporting overwhelming clinics in nearby states.
About 11 patients from Texas were seen in August at the Trustwoman Clinic in Oklahoma City, about a three-hour drive from Dallas Fort Worth.
In September, after Texas law came into force, the number surged to 110 and clinic phones were ringing constantly, said Rebecca Tong, co-senior director of Trust Women, who also runs the clinic in Wichita, Kansas. I am.
“Many of them literally drive overnight and are about to show up for a schedule at 8am without a break,” said Tong. “That’s not a good situation.”
“Absolutely Painful”: Texas people seeking abortion have been forced to travel for hours | Texas
Source link “Absolutely Painful”: Texas people seeking abortion have been forced to travel for hours | Texas